Isaac Dickson Elementary School received PV solar panels funded by the community

Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville, NC, opened its doors in 2016. Two architects, Innovative Design and Legerton Architecture, designed the school to be a net-zero energy school. The metal roof panels were selected to install solar panels and roof conduits were installed. At the time of construction, Buncombe County did not have budget for the solar project. Since the opening of the school in 2016, Sundance Power Systems, a local solar company, and the nonprofit Green Built Alliance’s Appalachian Offsets program led a crowd funding effort to install the PV. Parents, teachers, local residents, philanthropic donors, and the school system; over 100 donors; funded the project and the 300-kW solar system was finally installed in June 2021.

The school was designed through an integrated design process facilitated by Innovative Design early in design. It involved teachers, students, citizens, a neighboring church, firefighters and more, totaling 65 meetings with 1,165 participants. The design was the product of the collaborative effort of all participants. Because of their involvement early in design, the community has been engaged in promoting the school’s sustainability mission. IDES is well known for environmental education and community engagement. The school’s solar system will save over $30,000 per year in electricity bills, over $1.3 million over thirty years.

Congratulations, IDES and your donors!

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